persistent

adjective

per·​sis·​tent pər-ˈsi-stənt How to pronounce persistent (audio)
-ˈzi-
1
: existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: such as
a
: retained beyond the usual period
a persistent leaf
b
: continuing without change in function or structure
persistent gills
c
: effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing
mustard gas is persistent
d
: degraded only slowly by the environment
persistent pesticides
e
: remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation
persistent viruses
2
a
: continuing or inclined to persist in a course
b
: continuing to exist despite interference or treatment
a persistent cough
has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years
persistently adverb

Example Sentences

Contrary to persistent myth, Hoover was an activist. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 30 June 2008 The high-water mark of such truckling might be the publication of the Cato Institute report "America's Record Trade Deficit: A Symbol of Strength." Freedom had become slavery; persistent deficits had become economic power. Eric Janszen, Harper's, February 2008 The silence started from your end just about the time you said good-bye to dear St. Elizabeth and it has been constant and persistent ever since. Archibald Macleish, letter, 11 July 1959 We were nagged by a persistent salesman. He is one of the government's most persistent critics. She has been persistent in pursuing the job. He has been fighting a persistent cold. Flooding has been a persistent problem in the area this year. Persistent rumors that the business is for sale have alarmed the staff. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Big tech giants have laid off tens of thousands of employees over the past few months as recession fears, persistent inflation, and rising interest rates continue to weigh on earnings results. Will Daniel, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2023 The advance followed a 256,000 gain in November, despite rapid interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve to cool the economy and curb hiring in its fight against persistent inflation -- without landing the economy in a recession. Arkansas Online, 7 Jan. 2023 Despite a slowing economy, rising interest rates and persistent inflation, Americans have kept on spending, underscored by what is shaping up as a solid holiday shopping season. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 25 Dec. 2022 Over 90% of central banks have hiked rates this year, making the (mostly) globally coordinated effort to fight persistent inflation unprecedented, according to LPL Financial. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 21 Dec. 2022 Some pet owners feel that the additional price of pet rent, no matter how small, adds to the financial burden of being a renter, especially amid persistent inflation over the last year. Theara Coleman, The Week, 20 Dec. 2022 Stocks and bonds have headed in opposite directions to start December, a sign that investors’ worries about slowing growth have started to eclipse their fears of persistent inflation. Matt Grossman, WSJ, 12 Dec. 2022 The latest wave comes amid ongoing Federal Reserve rate hikes to tame persistent inflation, pushing mortgage rates toward their highest levels in two decades. Dallas News, 1 Dec. 2022 That’s welcome news for a country that’s suffered from dismal reading outcomes for decades and now also contends with persistent COVID-19-wrought learning losses. Time, 15 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'persistent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Latin persistent-, persistens, present participle of persistere — see persist

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of persistent was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near persistent

Cite this Entry

“Persistent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/persistent. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent pər-ˈsis-tənt How to pronounce persistent (audio)
-ˈzis-
1
: continuing, existing, or acting for a long or longer than usual time
a persistent cold
persistent gills
2
: stubbornly determined
persistently adverb

Medical Definition

persistent

adjective
per·​sis·​tent -tənt How to pronounce persistent (audio)
1
: existing or continuing for a long time: as
a
: effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing
mustard gas is persistent
b
: degraded only slowly by the environment
persistent pesticides
c
: remaining infectious for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation
persistent viruses
2
: continuing to exist despite interference or treatment
a persistent cough
has been in a persistent vegetative state for two years

More from Merriam-Webster on persistent

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